Thanks to Pirate and Arcane, I have learned of the existence of a tool previously unbeknownst to me: data wizards. Pirate has mentioned in the past that these could help solve some of the stigma behind learning the editor and help attract people to the mapmaking scene, helping the community grow with more maps to test, more mapmakers to give feedback, and greater use of the extremely powerful tool we all have come to know and hate with a passion for its complexity love.
Mapster Community Project
The general idea is to make the editor more accessible to newcomers in the mapmaking scene. Of course, it is already difficult to get people to open up the editor in the first place, but it certainly doesn't help that you have to search through a veritable ocean of data categories and fields just to make your marine deal more damage. This has been a huge detriment to the growth of the community from the start and, when the community support for learning such a tool is so small, there is even less of an incentive to join the community to begin with.
Data wizards allow you to create your own interface for modifying fields in the data editor. For instance, if you want to make a unit with easily changeable stats and only a few abilities, you have to flip through several tabs and data fields just to change what you want. However, with data wizards, you can simplify what you see and keep out things that have nothing to do with what you're editing, such as in this data wizard made by Pirate:
What is needed from me, the mapmaker?
First: Input and suggestions. What kind of wizards would be useful to you? What common monotonous processes could be streamlined with the use of a wizard? As the community members who have seen the questions newcomers tend to ask, you know best what might make their lives easier and, consequently, make them feel confident enough to continue their projects and become a more active member in the community.
Second (and most importantly): Wizard development. Part of the reason so few public data wizards exist right now is that they're not very user-friendly to make, as they're coded completely in XML. However, being the creative-minded Mapsters we all are, I think we can all pitch something in towards giving back to the community. Though learning resources have been hard to find, there is sufficient documentation to get the ball rolling. I myself will be trying to learn how to make data wizards and distribute them publicly.
Why should I bother with this?
Growing the mapmaking community is something that benefits all of us. As stated before, more people making maps not only leads to more fun content to play, but more people available to give feedback on your work and the maps of fellow community members, making the quality of maps that much higher. The main reasons why the community is as small as it is now are:
The learning curve on the editor is often too high for newcomers
Many existing maps lack polish, not to the fault of mapmakers but due to lack of a large community to give feedback
Starcraft II isn't as popular as it used to be
Data wizards can help with the first two on the list by making the editor learning process easier for newcomers and by helping those with more experience further enhance the quality of their maps. With enough of us creating good custom content, making simpler interfaces for the data module, and following up by advertising the best of Mapster wherever relevant, we just might be able to more fully realize the huge potential of the SC2 editor.
There are a few resources available to us for research on data wizard development. I would suggest asking around in the data development forum if you have questions regarding how to make data wizards or conventions you might typically want to follow. I would also recommend joining the SC2Mapster Discord for questions in general due to its ease of access and instantaneity of communication.
Wiki page for data wizards - Thanks to Pirate, the wizard documentation from the editor (yes, it's there!) has been added to the wiki
Rogue Star 2 data wizards - Editor examples of data wizards from Pirate's Rogue Star 2 (learning resource, does not work independently)
Community involvement is key in this project. It might be too much to hope for, considering how few people contribute to the wiki and provide feedback to the various map testing feedback initiatives started up in the last few months, but I think this can work with a unified goal and clear vision on what this can do for the mapmaking scene. While I'm at it, I would also encourage all of you to also check out the Monthly Community Project Testing thread and to look at the SC2Mapster Wiki for missing pages and/or ask around for what needs to be done.